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Apple tightens restrictions for kids apps, but backs out on usage control apps

Last week, we talked about two issues Apple was involved in, both related to App store, child-directed apps, and usage control apps that compete with iOS's Own Usage Time. Because we have news in both cases.

After the rumor emerged that Apple would tighten restrictions on children's apps distributed on the App Store, Apple confirmed the speculation yesterday, just after the opening of WWDC19. The company has published a number of updates to its app store guidelines, the most significant of which is as follows:

Guidelines 1.3 and 5.1.4. To keep child data protected, apps in the “Kids” category and apps directed at children may not include third-party advertising or analysis software and may not transmit data to other parties. This guideline applies immediately to new apps. Existing apps are required to follow it from September 3, 2019.

With this, Apple ensures that the store's "Kids" category is further protected from the overwhelming influence of trackers and data analyzers which will surely represent a unique marketing opportunity for parents and guardians of children using iPhones and iPads. On the other hand, developers will have to scramble for ways to make money from their apps without breaking the rules.

It will be interesting to see the reaction of the developer community to the announcement.

Usage tracking apps come back

The second issue also has to do with updating the App Store guidelines more specifically with the new clause below:

Guideline 5.5. As the MDM [Mobile Device Management, enterprise device management tool] gives sensitive data access, MDM apps must request manageability on the mobile device and can only be offered by companies and institutions such as business, educational or government organizations and, In limited cases, companies using MDM for parental control. MDM Apps may not sell, use or make data available to third parties under any circumstances, and must compromise this in their privacy policies.

With the sentence highlighted above, Apple effectively allowed several usage control apps to come back to App Store apps like FamilyTime or OurPact, which had recently been removed in a move that generated bad reviews and the suspicion that the company was promoting a “ Hunt Witches ”to services that competed with their native Time of Use feature.

Now the polymics are partially resolved. The apps in question may again use MDM to offer their control and usage limit tools, but Apple has not released the API requested by the developers, which would allow them to open MDM as a whole and build it. your tools based on native iOS features.

Good at least better than nothing, right?

via MacRumors